Lemon Sole Flavor Profile

Lemon Sole Flavor Scale

Lemon Sole have a mild, sweet flavor but are more mild than Rock Sole. They have the classic tender, fine-flaked white flesh which you expect from smaller Flounders called Sole.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Pleuronectes americanus – Georges Flounder refers to Lemon Sole under 1 pound; Winter Flounder and Blackback Flounder refer to Lemon Sole which are 2 – 3 1/2 lbs, Lemon Sole refers to fish which are 4+ pounds.
Hirame is the sushi name for sole.


Lemon Sole are actually a Flounder, not a Sole, but are called “Sole” because the term is more marketable. There are two different species which are marketed as Lemon Sole, both from different regions:
Pleuronectes americanus – From the Western Atlantic waters of Canada and the US, these flounders have an average market weight of 1-2 pounds but can reach almost 8 lbs (3.6 kg) and 2 feet (64 cm) in length. In the US and Canada the term Lemon Sole usually refers to fish over 3 1/2 lbs (see Alternate Names note). They are a left-eyed flounder.

Microstomus Kitt – A European species from Eastern Atlantic waters including Iceland, the British Isles, Ireland, the White Sea down to the Bay of Biscay. They are a right-eyed flounder. Their top side is a reddish-brown color with marbled patches of pink and orange sprinkled with flecks of green and yellow. They usually have a distinctive orange patch behind the pectoral fin. European Lemon Sole can grow to 26 inches (65 cm) long with a maximum weight of about 6 pounds (3 kg) and live to be 23 years old.

Lemon-Sole-Pleuronectes-americanus.jpgImage from FDA

Lemon-Sole-Microstomus_kitt.jpgImage © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0


Typical Wholesale Products

Dressed, Fillets.

Fresh Lemon Sole Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Lemon Sole Butchering Yield Percentage & Recovery

Item To Skin/On Fillets To Skin/Off Fillets Notes
Whole Round to Dressed Head/On 86% (+/- 4)
Whole Round to Dressed Head/Off 65% (+/- 10)
Head/On gutted 34%
Head/Off gutted 45%
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


How to Fillet Lemon Sole Video

Great video on how to skin sole and then how to fillet it. You can also just leave the skin on, follow the fillet technique to debone the fish, and then use your knive to remove the skin if you prefer that technique.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 154
* Protein grams 35
* Fat grams 1.9
* Saturated fat grams 0
* Sodium milligrams 139
* Cholesterol milligrams 82
* Omega-3 grams 0


Lemon Sole Sustainability Info

Name Alternate Names Catch Method Catch
Lemon Sole,Pseudopleuronectes americanus Blackback Flounder, Georges Flounder, Winter Flounder, Hirame Wild – Bottom Trawl US Atlantic Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Low
Wild – Bottom Gillnet US Gulf of Maine Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png
Lemon Sole, Microstomus kitt
Lemon Dab, Mary Sole, Sweet Fluke UK n/a n/a n/a n/a
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.
Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended Updated
August 2013


Comments from before Site Migration

ROBERT HILL []    [ Mar 02, 2015 ]

I really like this – it is a tremendous resource – thank you.  One thought would it better to describe Hirame as the Japanese name rather than Sushi name – Japanese is the language not Sushi?


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Suggested Reading